Tuesday, December 13, 2005

God's Own Country

Jimmy was getting married in Kerala on 27th Nov, so a few of us planned to attend. The wedding was in Trichur, which is his home town. Jimmy is one big guy. Used to gym with him. Also played football with him during Cisco sports, a long long time ago. He introduced me to the Saturday charasmatic church meetings. And also to an old age home nearby. Nice chap with a big heart. The only time I have every seen him angry was during the Cisco football finals where the referee was favouring the other team. He shouted, "If you don't give a foul now, I'll beat you up!!!". The referee got scared :-) and then decided to play it straight. I mean anyone would get scared cause of his size. We were the underdogs throughout the tourney. After scoring the only goal in the finals we defended and marked our opponents like there was no tomorrow. We foiled all attempts of a comeback and I even managed to drop a couple of their players down :-) They sure had a lot of stamina. But finally we won. Yippee :-)

Anyways so I went along with some friends from Cisco, my previous company. Met a lot of other Cisco/ex-Cisco colleagues, friends and acquaintainces. Stayed at Gopa's place as he too is from Trichur. The day before the wedding we went site-seeing. Saw a lot of waterfalls. The restaurant where we broke for lunch had a bookrack. There was this one book called "Whos who of Gulf", which had the names of all the important people in the gulf. Kerala's virtual economy.

I tried on the traditional dress for men in Kerala. Its called the 'Mundu', where a white cloth is wrapped around the waist. The full mundu version is worn as a sign of respect for elders. There is also a half mundu version where my hairy legs were exposed. I looked more like a bouncer at a roadside toddy shop so I decided to wear my original attire for the wedding.

That night we had this sudden urge to watch a Malayalam movie. Gopa told us of this new actress, forgot her name, so we were all game to watch this movie in a language we did not understand. We reached about 5 mins late and bought tickets for the movie. When we entered we discovered that it was free seating. The theatre was peppered with a few unoccupied free single seats. Since we could not sit together we decided to go outside and get some help from the 'ticket dude'. Gopa and the dude exchanged some words in Malayalam. Or maybe expletives. Well whatever it was it sure made the dude a bit touchy. He said something and then looked at us as if we did not understand his language. Well technically I didn't but we all grasped the gist of it. We decided to leave and maybe catch another movie. Since I didn't understand the langauge it didn't matter what we saw :-) Besides we were out numbered and didn't want to attend the wedding with a few black eyes. We finally saw some other movie at another theatre. I asked Gopa what he had asked the dude. He said he asked him why the theatre didn't have seat numbers and the dude was offended. The dude said that thats the way it has been and thats the way it will be, so help us God. "Mind it. Wokay!!"...

It seems that all the theatres in Kerala have free seating. The second theatre guy was more polite and tried to give us a rational explanation for the current state of affairs. According to legend, a long long time ago there used to be seat numbers. Then someone discovered that the seat he was sitting in did not have good enough fan coverage. So he demanded that he get better fan coverage. When the likes of the dudes could not satiate his innermost desires he cried foul and decided to park his belongings someplace else. Then a fight broke out. And alas seat numbers were abolished in the whole of Kerala. Sigh... Hmmmm....

No comments: